are a genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...
of large non-venomous colubrid snake
Snakes are elongate, legless, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes that can be distinguished from legless lizards by their lack of eyelids and external ears. Like all squamates, snakes are ectothermic, amniote vertebrates covered in overlapping scales...
s found in Southeastern United States
The Southeastern United States, colloquially referred to as the Southeast, is the eastern portion of the Southern United States. It is one of the most populous regions in the United States of America....
, Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...
, and South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...
. Three to four species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...
are currently recognized.
Indigo snakes are large, robust snakes which can reach a length of over 3 m
M is the thirteenth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:The letter M is derived from the Phoenician Mem, via the Greek Mu . Semitic Mem probably originally pictured water...
. They have smooth scales with several color variations, including a glossy blue-black color.
Behavior and diet
Indigo snakes are diurnal and actively forage for prey. They feed on a broad variety of small animals such as rodents, birds, lizards, frogs, toads, and other snakes, including rattlesnakes.
They are not aggressive snakes and will only bite when threatened. Typical threat display includes hissing and shaking of its tail as a warning.
The genus Drymarchon
was formerly considered to be a monotypic taxon formed by subspecies of D. Corais
. Currently the genus includes three distinct species recognized by ITIS
Itis may refer to* Integrated Taxonomic Information System, a partnership designed to provide consistent and reliable information on the taxonomy of biological species...
- Indigo Snake
The eastern indigo snake is a large nonvenomous snake with an even blue-black coloration, with some specimens having a reddish-orange to tan color on the throat, cheek and chin. This smooth- scaled snake is considered to be the largest native snake species in the United States with the longest...
— Drymarchon corais (Boie, 1827)
- Eastern Indigo Snake — Drymarchon couperi (Holbrook, 1842)
- Middle American Indigo Snake
The Middle American indigo snake , also known as Blacktail Cribo, is a large, non-venomous, colubrid snake species found in the south-west of the United States, Mexico, Central America, and the northern part South America. It has one recognized subspecies, D. m...
— Drymarchon melanurus (Duméril, Bibron and Duméril, 1854)
- Texas Indigo Snake — Drymarchon melanurus erebennus (Cope, 1860)
A fourth species, found in Venezuela, has been proposed by Wüster, Yrausquin, and Mijares-Urrutia:
- Falcon Indigo Snake — Drymarchon caudomaculatus, Wüster, Yrausquin & Mijares-Urrutia, 2001